GLEN JOHNSON: This week we asked former Liverpool, Chelsea and England full-back Glen Johnson to give us the low down on his teammates and more, including his favourite referee and the best initiation he’s seen.
During my career I was very fortunate to play with some of the world’s best players. To have sat in dressing rooms alongside the likes of Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard was a real honour, but while most of my fellow players were first-class on the pitch, a few had some interesting tendencies off it. Here’s a unique look at my teammates.
⚽ Funny man – Pepe Reina
While I was at Liverpool, Pepe Reina was the one. He loved to crack a joke during training and was always playing pranks on the lads. He was very funny and always kept the atmosphere light-hearted which is something you need in a professional dressing room.
⚽ Hard as nails – Daniel Agger
Daniel was about as tough as they come. You just had to look at him to see why! He always put a proper shift in and wasn’t afraid to leave one on you occasionally. He was a top-class defender, though, and was great to play alongside during my time at Anfield.
⚽ Fastest – Myself
I’m going to be a bit cheeky here and say myself! A lot of my teammates were sharp and quick off the line, but in my pomp I’d have been pretty hopeful I could have beaten them!
⚽ Biggest showboat – Ryan Babel
I played with some very skilful players during my career, but Ryan Babel was probably the biggest showboat. He was always trying tricks and flicks in training and did his best to make us all look very foolish. He was successful on some occasions, but there were plenty of times when the shoe was on the other foot.
⚽ Worst dancer – Jose Enrique
I’m not sure many of the lads could call themselves good dancers, but Jose Enrique was particularly bad. He was very pleasing on the eye on the football pitch, but I can’t say he was on the dancefloor!
⚽ Worst dresser – Jose Enrique
I’m going to have stich up Jose again here! He rocked up to training in some terrible outfits and got plenty of stick for his outfit choices plenty of times. Rightly so on a number of occasions.
⚽ Teacher’s pet – Paulo Ferreira
Paulo was always talking to the manager while I was at Chelsea. It’s always important to have dialogue with the gaffer, though he perhaps did it a bit more than the rest of us did!
⚽ Future manager – Jordan Henderson
He’s shown this season for Liverpool what a leader on the pitch he is and you’d have to think he’ll develop into a great manager once he hangs his boots up. He’s got all the characteristics you need to succeed as a manager and I wouldn’t be surprised at all to see him in a dugout in the future.
⚽ Mr Vain – Jose Enrique
A lot of the lads I played with spent plenty of time in front of the mirror, but if I had to pick one it would have to be Jose. He seemed to take longer than most getting himself ready.
⚽ Worst car – Alberto Moreno
Most of the lads had some really nice cars, though Alberto’s was a real shocker. It was a two-seater rental and it really did him no favours. He got plenty of stick from the other Liverpool players for it.
⚽ Biggest moaner – Daniel Agger
Daniel was always moaning about something. Whether it was on the training pitch, in the dressing room or on the team bus, there was always something that wasn’t quite right and he made sure we all knew that too.
⚽ Cleverest/Geekiest – Daniel Agger/Petr Cech
Both Daniel and Petr were pretty smart and they’d often be reading books during downtimes. We’d all have different methods of relaxing and chilling out like listening to music or watching TV, but those two would occupy their time reading.
⚽ Best penalty taker – Steven Gerrard
Stevie was just first class from the penalty spot and he very rarely missed. Though you’re only 12 yards away from the goal there is so much pressure when taking a penalty because you should score pretty much every time. He was ice cool and when he stepped up you could be pretty confident he was going to bury it.
⚽ Best golfer – Daniel Agger
A lot of the lads, including myself, played golf or have taken up golf since they retired and there are some pretty handy players. Of those I played with, I know Daniel plays a lot now. He’s always posting pictures of himself playing and I think he’s got his handicap down to something pretty low.
⚽ Best initiation – Stoke doctor
I witnessed a huge variety of initiations during my career but the Stoke doctor’s really stood out. I can’t remember the song he chose, but he was absolutely terrible and the whole changing room was crying with laughter the whole way through it.
⚽ Best ref – Phil Dowd
Referees have got one of the hardest jobs in football and players don’t make it easy for them. We had a number of good refs during my playing career, with Phil Dowd the one I thought of as being the best. He let the game flow which I always thought was important.